• Drenching Rains Pose Greater Threat to Fire-Damaged Areas in West

    Areas in the western U.S. scarred by wildfires now face even more dangers: drenching rains. These rains inundate the burnt areas, causing significant destruction, including debris flows, mudslides, and flash floods, because the denuded landscape cannot easily contain the drenching moisture.

  • New Wildfire Detection System Receives Funding Boost

    The high intensity of the recent fire seasons in Oregon, coupled with the increasing wildfire risk this year as approximately three-quarters of the state is now in severe drought conditions, has highlighted how critical a new project, aiming to help with the early detection and monitoring of wildfires, is — both for firefighters and the general public.

  • The Future of 5G+ Infrastructure Could Be Built Tile by Tile

    Currently 5G+ technologies rely on large antenna arrays that are typically bulky and come only in very limited sizes, making them difficult to transport and expensive to customize. Researchers have developed a novel and flexible solution to address the problem. Their additively manufactured tile-based approach can construct on-demand, massively scalable arrays of 5G+‐enabled smart skins with the potential to enable intelligence on nearly any surface or object.

  • How Ukraine Has Defended Itself Against Cyberattacks – Lessons for the U.S.

    In 2014, as Russia launched a proxy war in Eastern Ukraine and annexed Crimea, and in the years that followed, Russian hackers hammered Ukraine. The cyberattacks went so far as to knock out the power grid in parts of the country in 2015. Russian hackers stepped up their efforts against Ukraine in the run-up to the 2022 invasion, but with notably different results. Those differences hold lessons for U.S. national cyber defense.

  • Protecting Solar Technologies from Cyberattack

    At a solar farm, power electronics devices convert direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar photovoltaic panels into alternating current (AC) electricity for use on the electrical grid. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates up to 80% of electricity could flow through power electronics devices by 2030. Researchers suggest a novel approach to safeguarding one possible target of a cyberattack – the nation’s solar farms.

  • Testing Similitude Laws of Multistory Masonry Buildings

    Earthquakes and other stressors on buildings pose a threat to their structural integrity that endangers human life. It helps to be able to calculate the behavior of buildings and test with small-scale models.

  • Cyber and Physical Security Should Collaborate: What Does It Take to Achieve This

    To understand and mitigate threats that cross the boundary between what is cyber and what is physical, some organizations have integrated their security resources to encourage them to work more closely together.

  • Giving New Life to Old Concrete Structures Through “Vascularization”

    Concrete is a ubiquitous building material, and it is often cited as the most consumed commodity on Earth, second only to potable water. As this inherited concrete infrastructure continues to age, maintaining and repairing concrete is of increasing strategic importance to both defense and civilian infrastructure. DARPA’s BRACE program aims to revitalize legacy DoD infrastructure to extend its serviceability.

  • The Ukrainian Economy: Where Now for the Future?

    An expert has warned that the impact of the war will be disastrous for the Ukrainian economy, regardless of the outcome. “War will always have a catastrophic impact. As you’d expect, production is collapsing, and the economy has given up percentages of GDP growth,” says a Cambridge University professor who is an economic adviser to Ukrainian President Zelensky.

  • Pivotal Battery Discovery Could Benefit Transportation, the Grid

    Researchers uncover new avenue for overcoming the performance decline that occurs with repeated charge-discharge cycling in the cathodes of next generation batteries.

  • Coastal Home Buyers Are Ignoring Rising Flood Risks, Despite Clear Warnings and Rising Insurance Premiums

    Homebuyers along the U.S. coasts can check each property’s flood risk as easily as they check the size of the bedrooms – most coastal real estate listings now include future flood risk details that take climate change into account. In Apollo Beach, for example, many of the properties are at least 9 out of 10 on the flood risk scale. That knowledge isn’t stopping homebuyers, though.

  • Ultrafast Devices to Protecting the Grid from EMPs

    Scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have announced a tiny, electronic device that can shunt excess electricity within a few billionths of a second while operating at a record-breaking 6,400 volts — a significant step towards protecting the nation’s electric grid from an electromagnetic pulse.

  • As Sea Levels Rise, Coastal Megacities Will Need More Than Flood Barriers

    Sea level rise is expected to worsen in the next few decades, especially for many of the world’s largest cities in lower and middle income countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. These cities are already improving their infrastructure. But most of the focus remains on big engineering solutions (like flood walls and embankments) rather than a more holistic plans.

  • Armored Transformer Barrier Protects Electric Power Grid

    A 2013 sniper attack on an electric power substation in Northern California, which caused more than $15 million in damages and destroyed 17 transformers, led researchers to develop a novel protective solution: the Armored Transformer Barrier system.

  • Climate Change Contributor to 2017 Oroville Dam Spillway Incident

    A one-two punch of precipitation resulted in damage to Oroville Dam’s main and emergency spillways pushing the second largest dam in California into a crisis in February 2017. Researchers say that they have identified the fingerprint of climate change in the events that triggered the incident. Issues with the dam’s spillways led to the evacuation of 188,000 people.